Accident Sud Aviation SE-210 Caravelle 10B3 OY-STL, Tuesday 14 March 1972
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Date:Tuesday 14 March 1972
Time:18:04
Type:Silhouette image of generic S210 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Sud Aviation SE-210 Caravelle 10B3
Owner/operator:Sterling Airways
Registration: OY-STL
MSN: 267
Year of manufacture:1970
Total airframe hrs:6674 hours
Engine model:Pratt & Whitney JT8D-9
Fatalities:Fatalities: 112 / Occupants: 112
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Category:Accident
Location:ca 20 km W of Kalba -   United Arab Emirates
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Non-Scheduled/charter/Air Taxi
Departure airport:Bombay-Santacruz Airport (BOM/VABB)
Destination airport:Dubai Airport (DXB/OMDB)
Investigating agency: DAI
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Narrative:
Sterling Flight 296 was a charter service from Colombo (CMB), Sri Lanka to Copenhagen (CPH), Denmark. Refueling stops were planned at Bombay, Dubai, and Ankara.
After a one-hour stopover at Bombay, the flight took off for Dubai at 15:20 hours UTC. An IFR flight plan was submitted for airway R19, containing five reporting points. The en route altitude was FL310 and all reporting points were passed ahead of schedule.
At 17:25 the crew received the current Dubai weather information which showed a wind from 040 degrees at 8 knots; 10 km visibility; and 5/8 clouds at 2000 feet.
At 17:42 the flight contacted Dubai Approach and reported on the 084 radial of the Dubai (DO) VOR. The approach controller told the crew to expect descent clearance at 17:55. However, at 17:49, the crew radioed approach control, requesting an immediate descent as they were 95 NM out. Unknown to the crew, their actual position was 162 NM from Dubai.
The controller cleared the flight down to 4000 feet and reported that runway 30 and 12 were both available. The flight replied: "We will see if we can make this a straight in on 30".
At 17:56 hours the flight reported descending through FL135. The controller replied: "Recleared 'DO' 2000 feet on Dubai 1016 mb report 2000 feet or field in sight". In conditions of darkness the flight crew likely spotted the city lights of Fujayrah, Ghurayfah and Kalba during the descent, assuming these were the lights of Dubai.
Radio contact between the flight and Dubai Approach became more difficult during the descent over mountainous terrain. As a result of flying over mountainous terrain, about 80 km to the east of Dubai, flight 296 also had difficulty in tuning into the NDB and VOR frequencies.
Descent was continued until the plane struck a mountain ridge at 1600 feet.

The reason for the accident was that the aircraft was flown below the prescribed minimum altitude, probably because:
1. The pilots thought that they were closer to their destination than they actually were, supposedly due to the incorrect information on the outdated flight plan in use or due to a misreading of the weather radar, or a combination of both.
2. The pilots thought they had their position confirmed when they got visual contact with the towns of Fujayrah, Ghurayfah and Kalba, mistaking these for Dubai.

Accident investigation:
cover
  
Investigating agency: DAI
Report number: AIG/47B/73
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 7 months
Download report: Final report

Sources:

Aircraft Accident Report AIG/47B/73

Statistics

  • 7th worst accident in 1972
  • worst accident of this aircraft type
  • worst accident of this aircraft type at the time

Location

Images:


photo (c) Erik Oxtorp via Werner Fischdick; Kobenhavn-Kastrup Airport (CPH); June 1971


photo (c) Kjell Nilsson; Stockholm-Arlanda Airport (ARN/ESSA); 18 July 1971

Revision history:

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